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Borrowing Trouble

Some time ago I heard a sermon which has stuck with me ever since. The preacher was a nurse; her pulpit was the bedside of a patient I was visiting in the hospital. The patient was worried about the possibility of surgery coming up, and learning of the worry, the nurse began her sermon. It went something like this: "Listen, we don't borrow trouble from tomorrow. You may have surgery, who knows, but that's not today. In this place," she continued, "we live one day at a time. If we borrowed all the problems tomorrow is going to bring, we'd never make it through a single day. You focus on one day at a time. You got quite enough time to think about today without borrowing tomorrow's trouble."

Now I'm not sure how much the patient was helped, but I sure profited from that sermon and went away feeling better. And I went away thinking that this was just what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6:34 — "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

And I also went away thinking of a quotation I had read not too long before that encounter. "Worry is a pagan prayer." Think about this for a while. We do encounter trouble in life, no doubt about it. But some of us go around making life worse than it is, and unnecessarily so.

Jesus is telling us that we should not borrow trouble from tomorrow. Not one of us can function if we anticipate all the problems tomorrow may bring. Each day presents its own challenges, its own troubles and opportunities. By implication, Jesus is also saying that we should not borrow trouble from yesterday either, an even more foolish act. All of us have lived through some unhappy experiences; we have seen things happen to our loved ones; we have made some mistakes. And now, in the present moment we keep borrowing trouble from yesterday and adding it to tomorrow's troubles, and we find ourselves under a heavy burden that won't allow us to focus on today.

As followers of Jesus Christ we are to deal with today as best we can. Deal with it honorably and wisely. But remember, our life is in God's hands. Our Heavenly Father knows us — He knows our needs. He loves us, and nothing will ever separate us from the love He has for us. "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward